Watkins Glen II: Spirit of Daytona race report

The Highs and Lows of Racing for Labonte and Cosmo The Crown Royal 200 at the Glen proved to be another emotional race weekend for Spirit of Daytona Racing with Bobby Labonte. The AMD/MarineMax Prototype finished 17th overall. Guy Cosmo and ...

The Highs and Lows of Racing for Labonte and Cosmo

The Crown Royal 200 at the Glen proved to be another emotional race weekend for Spirit of Daytona Racing with Bobby Labonte. The AMD/MarineMax Prototype finished 17th overall. Guy Cosmo and teammate Bobby Labonte were not disheartened with their race finish. They are now even more motivated for a top-10 finish in the 09 Crawford Prototype.

Guy Cosmo started the race in the 09 Prototype from a 20th grid position. He worked his way up to the middle of the pack and kept the car out of trouble. Mid-way through his stint a caution flag fell over the track and the leaders pitted for fuel and tires. Team-manager/owner Troy Flis and team engineer Peter Keane made the decision to keep the AMD/MarineMax Prototype on track. Cosmo stayed in the car and at lap 37 was leading the race. Cosmo remained in the lead for six laps until the Hoosier tires started to wear and he fell back to 8th place. After turning over 60 laps, Cosmo felt a fuel spike in the car and had to pit for fuel and tires. The team's pit strategy coincided with a caution on the track and they did not loose any time while in pit lane. Cosmo turned the car over to Labonte on lap 64.

Before the track turned green, NASCAR Champion, Bobby Labonte jumped into the Prototype and caught the pace car. Labonte was muscling his way into the top-10 when suddenly a front suspension piece broke in the Crawford taking him out of the race. Labonte was unharmed but the front of the car suffered severe damage. The race ended five laps later and Spirit of Daytona finished 17th. Bobby Labonte said, "We were running really good and I was moving up through the pack before the car crashed. Cosmo did great leading the pack during the race. It was exciting to see him on the scoreboard and on the TV in first place. With race finishes like this you can only look forward to bouncing back. I wish we could have had a better finish for our sponsors AMD and MarineMax but this makes you hungry for the next race."

After the race Cosmo was still feeling the adrenaline of leading the pack. "The only thing that was going through my head was that I was in the lead. I had to drive as hard as I could. You don't get many chances to get the lead. I had to pull everything together to keep laying down my laps. The Spirit of Daytona team and Bobby worked incredibly hard to get this car running upfront. This weekend was a culmination of all the hard work the team went through to accomplish the incredible feat of leading a race. I thank AMD and MarineMax for coming on board with us. We would like to show them we can lead races every time with their support."

The team felt bitter sweet about the 200-mile Friday night race. The high of leading the race wore out too fast after the early race finish.

-credit: www.spiritofdaytona.com

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Guy Cosmo